Why does U.S. pull out of Open Skies Treaty?

Why does U.S. pull out of Open Skies Treaty?

The United States seeks to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty in order to hide violations and achieve military superiority, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said,.

"If someone is trying to destroy the Treaty - in this case, it is the United States - there can be only one reason: the Americans want to hide violations of obligations under other treaties from their partners and rivals,"  the senior Russian senator told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

According to Kosachev, Washington seeks to achieve unilateral military superiority. "Any disarmament agreement is aimed at ensuring a balance of power. The Americans don’t need a balance of power," TASS cited him as saying.

The Wall Street Journal reported on October 27 that U.S. President Donald Trump had signed a document that allegedly specified the Washington administration’s plans to pull out of the Treaty on Open Skies. The newspaper’s sources said however that it was not a final decision and consultations were still underway.

The editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine, Igor Korotchenko, noted in conversation with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, that Washington is taking any measures that allow it to develop an arms program without any international responsibility. "The United States is dismantling a system of major international agreements that provide strategic stability to untie its hands in an unlimited arms race," he said.

"The Open Skies Treaty put U.S. military activity under control because it provided, in particular, Russia with the opportunity to verify and inspect U.S. plans. If the treaty is cancelled, we’ll have less opportunity to understand in which areas the U.S. is improving military power, what tasks are being prepared for. And this increases the risk of conflicts and even the Third World War, "Igor Korotchenko drew attention.

Director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov explained the intention to leave the Open Skies Treaty to prevent Russia and China from catching up with the United States in terms of technological development. "The U.S. believes that they should take energetic measures, otherwise they may be in a very dangerous situation. They see that they are inferior to China in the rate of development and that Russia is quickly recovering its geopolitical position and internal ability to develop. Therefore, their task is to take advantage of the opportunity, achieve dominance and begin to dictate its military will to other countries," he said.

"The New START treaty may be extended for a while, and the negotiations will be used as a means of political pressure on Russia and China. But they will probably leave the Open Skies Treaty, and the arms race will intensify. That is, the United States, in fact, doesn’t matter whether Russia and China violate these treaties or not - by betting on an arms race, Washington is doing everything to obtain military-technological and geopolitical domination," Sergey Markov concluded.

The multilateral Treaty on Open Skies was signed in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, by 23 member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and went into force on January 1, 2002. The accord includes 34 countries, among them, most NATO members, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden and Finland. Russia ratified the Treaty on May 26, 2001. The purpose of the deal is to help build confidence between countries through the improvement of mechanisms to control military activities and compliance with arms control agreements.